Illinois DNR sets waterfowl dates, bag limits

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois DNR has announced waterfowl season dates and bag limits for the 2017-18 seasons.

The seasons include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state’s four waterfowl hunting zones, along with 107 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the North and Central zones (15 days in September, two days of youth hunting and 90 days of “regular” goose season), 99 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Central Zone, and 87 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Zone. Goose season lengths are shorter in the South Central and South zones to coincide with duck season dates and to match hunter preferences.

The 2017-18 Illinois season dates are the second year of a five-year plan that was developed in 2015. This year, Illinois will open the regular duck, Canada goose, and snow goose seasons on Oct. 21 in the North Zone, Oct. 28 in the Central Zone, Nov. 11 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 23 in the South Zone. White-fronted goose (specklebelly) seasons will open Oct. 23 in the North Zone, Nov. 5 in the Central Zone, and with duck season in the South Central (Nov. 11) and South zones (Nov. 23).

The daily duck bag limit is six and may include no more than four mallards (two hens), three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two black ducks, two canvasback, one pintail, and one mottled duck. The daily bag limit of mergansers is five, only two of which may be hooded mergansers. The possession limit for ducks and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit by species and sex.

Canada and white-fronted goose daily bag limits will be two with a possession limit of six. The snow goose daily bag limit is 20 birds, with no possession limit, during the fall and winter season. The spring Conservation Order Light Goose season will open Jan. 19 in the North Zone and Feb. 1 in the Central, South Central, and South zones, ending March 31 in all zones. There is no daily bag or possession limit on snow, blue, and Ross’ geese during this season.

The September 2017 early Canada goose season is Sept. 1-15 with a daily limit of five and a possession limit of 15 geese in the North and Central zones, and a daily limit of two and a possession limit of six geese in the South Central and South zones.

Illinois’ 16-day 2017 statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 9-24 with a daily limit of six and a possession limit of 18. Shooting hours for the September teal season are different from the regular season, starting at sunrise (a half-hour later than regular season) until sunset.

The application period for Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permits will be open Aug. 16-31 for the first lottery, Sept. 1-14 for the second lottery, and Sept. 15-28 for the third lottery. Permits remaining after the third lottery will be available on a first-come, first-served basis online starting Oct. 1. For more information, including online applications, instructions and a list of participating sites, click here.

Additional details on the duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting seasons will be available on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov and in the 2017-2018 Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations (available later this year) and the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2017-2018, available via the IDNR website.

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